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Old 06-24-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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Kurt Cobain

(Some of you may already be thinking, "God, not another discussion of this guy," but I swear I've never talked about him to anyone, and certainly not on an internet forum.)

Basically, I just wanted to know what U2 fans in general make of him, his music, and his iconic status? Because I'm a bit perplexed.

I grew up through the whole alt-rock/grunge/Nirvana era, and a lot of my friends liked Nirvana (though there were a hell of a lot of good groups then, not only them). As for me, I wasn't a fan at all. I remember seeing the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video on TV when it was climbing the charts, and thinking, "Hmm, another hair metal band."

I was into U2, some alt-rockers (but mainly British), classic rock, and syth-pop in the early 90s, and Nirvana just didn't turn my crank. Finally, Cobain shot himself in April 1994 (I was in the Kananaskis Park of the Rocky Mountains at the time), and entered legend and myth. Of course, any leading rocker who kills himself or dies young will engender a cult, but even so, his following -- at least as portrayed by the media -- grew exponentially, and was awfully large.

Over the years, I've become more sympathetic to Nirvana, partly due to time, party due to my changed tastes, partly due to Dave Grohl being one of the truly nice and talented guys in rock. But even with sympathetic retrospect, I still fail to find Nirvana overly interesting. What I perceive is a very talented craftsman of melody (Cobain), with a leaner than 80s'-hair-metal sound (just three guys in the band). The actual sound of the group, however, is not particularly interesting, and I don't think Cobain was as good a singer as some people make out (he wasn't a very good guitarist, either, as if that matters). Obviously opinions vary on these points, but anyway that's my take on it.

So, what do you make of him? Based on interviews I've seen/read, Cobain seemed like a fairly intelligent (by rock star standards) person, a fairly congenial guy, and an approachable ego. He also became truly lovey-dovey over Courtney after they got together, and told everyone -- including the media -- how love had completely changed his life. Then he killed himself, after one attempt at intervention (by Courtney and his friends) had almost succeeded.

A curious fellow.

Oh, also -- what have U2 ever said about him?? It seems strange that I can't remember them ever talking about Cobain...
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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Nirvana - Were They Really That Special?
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:08 PM   #3
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i personally think he was a great poet, but a crappy guitar player, and a crappy singer. with that said, i can't deny that he made one hell of an impact.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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Nirvana put out some great albums and great singles in their day, but overall I would not consider them to be the best of grunge.

Dinosaur Jr and bands like that were more innovative. Nirvana didn't really invent anything new but melded their influences into something that was commercially successful.

In terms of the big grunge bands, I think Alice in Chains produced a superior body of work to Nirvana. It's interesting that Cobain is much more talked about than Staley, who faded away rather than blowing up.

To me, Dave Grohl and his band play stodgy, boring, pubrock music. America's answer to Oasis.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:15 PM   #5
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alice in chains
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:20 PM   #6
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If anything, he was incredibly good looking.



That hair. Those eyes. Mmmmph.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
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If anything, he was incredibly good looking.



That hair. Those eyes. Mmmmph.
if my daughter ever brings home a boy that looks like that, i'll shoot him.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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and thinking, "Hmm, another hair metal band."
They may have been a lot of things, but hair metal they were not...
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
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thinking, "Hmm, another hair metal band."


As remarked in the previous post, Nirvana were anything but another hair metal band. "Smell Like Teen Spirit" is sometimes even described as the song that killed hair metal. No polished sheen, no big hair, no LA excess, but slacks and a dirty guitar.

That was the main influence of Nirvana, alternative and DIY could also be embraced by the large public. Plus that good melodies also sound excellent with crushing guitar riffs.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:14 PM   #10
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never a huge fan... liked some stuff... think cobain and nirvana are held so high because cobain died in the midst of the grunge movement and never had to try to survive a changing music scene.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:51 AM   #11
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My older brother caught the tail-end of the grunge era and as a result, I grew up listening to a lot of Nirvana. I'm not so keen on them now (well, more that I'm not so keen on grunge in general), but I still have some admiration for them, and will still rock the fuck out if Aneurysm is playing. As for Kurt, he seemed like a nice bloke with, unfortunately, a lot of baggage in his head.

It's probably a good thing that he died, though, because imagine how shit he'd be now.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:35 AM   #12
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Can I be the first to say that I think he was brilliant? I don't know what it is about Nirvana's music, or Kurt's voice, or the lyrics, but the music really makes me take a step back and think. I agree with Sad Punk, though, he'd probably be considered crap now if he hadn't died, which is kinda sad

But I him
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sad Punk View Post

It's probably a good thing that he died, though, because imagine how shit he'd be now.

Wow, are you aware of how shitty that sounds? If the guy were still alive, he might not even be in the music business today.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:49 PM   #14
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Average guitar player, passable poet, possessor of great mystique. Good enough to make him a rock legend in the eyes of most, but doesn't particularly impress me.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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Cobain's a little overrated, but Nirvana still made some kickass tunes.

Nevermind was the first hard rock album I ever heard (other than the stuff on the Classic Rock radio station), in 1993 when I was seven years old.
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